Kori Bustard on Display, Large Olifants River Crocodile | H1-4 South to H7

This morning was the time to leave Olifants Camp and head down south somewhat. I wanted to complete the Talamati S140 road starting at Rabelais Hut which I’d visited yesterday. This route would take me south from Olifants, beyond Satara where I would drive west to Rabelais Hut. Then south to Talamati Bush camp then along a winding easterly path to join the H1-3 that would take me to Tshokwane but only after witnessing lions lying by the side of a muddy waterhole next to the H1-3.

Map Olifants via Talamati to Tshokwane | Kruger National Park It was going to take me quite a while to get to my starting point close to Orpen Gate … a journey of some 100 kms. I would eventually reach Pretoriuskop Rest camp just before the gates closed at 18.30 and would be privy to a most wonderful sight of 4 lion cubs playing in a dry river bed while waiting for their mother to return.
In view of the length of today’s journey I’ve split the drive into 3 sections. Two can be done from Olifants Camp but the third is best classified as one to be completed out of Pretoriuskop Camp. The map shown here reflects only the first 2 drives ending in Tshokwane.
Waypoint 498 is the Ngotso North watering point in loving memory of Ethel Heggerdas, 1902 to 1990.
Large Crocodile Swimming Down Olifants River | Kruger National Park Waypoint 497 is the get-out bridge crossing the Olifants River and I managed an amazing shot of a very large crocodile deciding to move with the flow. The crocodile entered the river east of the bridge and right where I was watching over the bridge he walked/swam (the stream at this point was quite shallow) downstream, disappeared briefly under the bridge and continued the swim/walk east. The photograph shown here will give you a good impression of the size of the crocodile which obviously knew where it was going.
Kori Bustard in Full Display Mode | Kruger National Park Waypoint 499 is the Nyamarhi watering point, presented in memory of Elizabeth Caffa van Heljgen and where I saw a lovely family of Kudu close by. Not far from this point, waypoint 500, is the Ngotso pan where a herd of Zebra and Impala were congregated. The pan was very low.
Scops Owl in Tree Satara Camp | Kruger National Park I saw a Kori Bustard walking in a burned veld area and what was amazing was the fact that the Kori Bustard was in full display. His chest and neck were really puffed out. Tail feathers were standing erect. A wonderful and unusual sighting. What amazing markings this giant bird had even though they were all shades of black, white and brown. Close to this point was a large herd of Buffalo at the roadside.
Scops Owl in Tree Satara Camp | Kruger National Park At Satara I stopped for breakfast and confirmed my booking for Pretoriuskop this evening. There was another Scops owl in a tree close to the reception offices.
I continued my drive to Orpen along the H7 and before I got to the S106 turn off crossed the Phelwana River, where a herd of Elephants had taken charge of the roadside. Phelwana was the name of one of the 9 Tuskers and apparently, when he was alive of course, liked to terrorize visitors on sections of this road. I took the S106 to get to Rabelais Hut, saw the 2 Buffalos in the same spot more or less where I’d seen them yesterday. And I was soon at the turn off to the Talamati Camp some19 kms from the turn off.